Sunday, December 24, 2006

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Collect for the day:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Papa Rooster's paragraph for the church bulletin:
The shift towards the Incarnation that began subtly last week becomes more explicit on this final Advent Sunday. We are still anticipating the Lord’s second coming but we are also turning to the commemoration of his unique and unrepeatable first coming. Advent is the most “Marian” of all the Church seasons, and this Sunday epitomizes that quality. The tradition of the Church has understood Mary as the “New Eve,” the “Ark of the New Covenant”, and the “Burning Bush” that manifests His presence at the Incarnation. But none of this comes about because of Mary in and of herself. It is because she is full of grace—the gift of God’s overshadowing presence, the Lord with her—that she becomes blessed. She says to Gabriel, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” As Mary says, “Yes” to the Lord’s grace, the mystery, the promise and the hope of Israel is born in her. As one of the Collects for the day prays, may the Lord likewise “at his coming… find in us a mansion prepared for himself.”

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